Czech Railways wants to buy 15 battery trains

Karel Novak, Published on 07/01/2023
Czech Railways wants to buy 15 battery trains
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At the end of last year, Czech Railways (České dráhy) announced a tender for the supply and servicing of trains powered by overhead lines and high-capacity batteries.


To begin with, 15 such units are planned to be purchased to transport passengers in the Moravian-Silesian Region. The energy stored in the batteries is to allow the train to travel a distance of min. 80 km.

"There is a growing interest among regional transport customers in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the quality of transport services. Both of these conditions are met by battery electric units. On electrified sections, they are powered directly from the overhead line, while on non-electrified lines, the drive is provided by electricity stored in the battery. The plan for the deployment of battery trains is the most advanced in the Moravian-Silesian Region, for which we are currently looking to purchase 15 battery trainsets," says Michal Krapinec. - says Michal Krapinec, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Czech Railways.

The new vehicles will allow a smooth ride regardless of whether the line is electrified or not, and transfers from electric to motor sets will not be necessary, providing greater comfort for journeys from different corners of the region, for example from Krnov or Budišov nad Budišovkou directly to the center of Ostrava. At the same time, diesel trains will be eliminated from the operation, thus reducing harmful gas emissions, Krapinec emphasizes. In the future, the carrier wants to acquire more battery trains to operate journeys in other regions of the Czech Republic.

České dráhy plans to purchase vehicles that can be powered from the 3 kV DC and 25 kV 50 Hz AC catenary and additionally from a battery (BEMU 140 AC/DC). Ultimately, they also have plans to buy other types of battery-powered AC vehicles.

The new trains are to be barrier-free vehicles for the disabled, low-floor, with air-conditioned compartments, with at least 135 seats in first and second class, with spaces for wheelchairs, prams, and bicycles, with a modern audiovisual information system, power sockets for passenger use, wi-fi.

The speed at which the new units will travel is a maximum of 160 km/h when powered by overhead lines and 120 km/h when using battery power. They will also be equipped with an energy recovery system that will allow the electricity generated during braking to be returned to the overhead line or the batteries.

Deployment of the first battery trains is planned for 2025, with an expected investment cost of CZK 3.4 billion including vehicle purchase, selected spare parts, and service over 15 years.

Czech Railways plans to invest up to 100 billion Czech crowns in rolling stock renewal by 2030. Currently, orders for 110 RegioPanter electric units, 76 PESA motor trains, 20 nine-car ComfortJet express trains, and 50 Siemens Vectron electric locomotives are being carried out for the carrier.

This article was originally published by Agata Sumara on our sister's publication sektorkolejowy.pl

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